Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

Go 15x Bigger or Go Home

Field Tested: 15x Binoculars

In the field, nothing is more important than good glass. Scanning miles of wide-open western terrain can be hard on the eyes, especially without the right-size binoculars. To ensure the antler you’ve spotted isn’t really a branch, top your tripod with 15X prime binoculars and settle in for the long haul. These four options will do the trick.

Leupold BX-5 Santiam 15x56

Leupold BX-5 Santiam 15x56

I found the Santiam crisp and clear right out of the box. BAK 4 Prisms reduce edge distortion, while Abbe-Koenig prisms maximize light transmission for early or late glassing sessions. No worries about dropping them in cold, wet weather thanks to the open bridge design, textured grip, and palm swells that make for a comfortable and secure fit in your hands. MSRP: $1,820 | leupold.com

  • Hits: Textured grip, palm swell
  • Misses: Heavy

Vortex Vulture HD 15x56

Vortex Vulture HD 15x56

It was immediately noticeable how light and compact the Vortex Vulture was compared to the others in our test. The 56mm fully multi-coated objective lenses are made with high-density extra-low dispersion glass, which equals super-bright images. The green rubber exterior is thick and durable in case of drops. Better yet, the glass is anti-scratch. At $600, the Vulture is a very affordable option. MSRP: $600 | vortexoptics.com

  • Hits: Lightweight
  • Misses: Not as crystal clear as the other units

Leica Geovid 15x56R

Leica Geovid 15x56R

On the outside, the Geovid binoculars appear old school, but on the inside the glass and technology are anything but. A Perger-Porro prism system displays high-contrast images and edge-to-edge crispness. The internal rangefinder measures out to 1,200 yards and features EHR ballistic data to calculate your horizontal range for steep shots. For a rangefinder/binocular combo, the Geovid is extremely lightweight. MSRP: $2,200 | us.leica-camera.com


  • Hits: Doubles as a rangefinder
  • Misses: Expensive

Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56

Zeiss Conquest HD 15x56

Zeiss has brought HD to the binocular world. The Carl Zeiss T* multi-layer coating gives users 90 percent light transmission. The 56mm lenses offer a wide field of view and maximum brightness matched with crystal-clear images. A special lens coating ensures that water rolls easily off the glass in case of unexpected rain, while dirt can be wiped clean without the worry of scratching your investment. MSRP: $1,800 | zeiss.com


  • Hits: Crystal clear
  • Misses: Slippery grip

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 7: Beginner's Luck

Host Kali Parmley takes first-time hunter Danae Hale of CZ-USA to Wyoming for a mule deer hunt. After covering all the basics with Danae, the girls head into the field and what happens next goes way beyond either of their expectations!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

Trending Articles

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great black North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

These rounds have proven themselves most worthy in the field. Ammo

America's Top 10 Big Game Cartridges

Joseph von Benedikt

These rounds have proven themselves most worthy in the field.

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range hunting: trajectory, wind drift, impact velocity, and accuracy. Ammo

Is the .308 a Viable Long Range Cartridge?

Keith Wood

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

See More Trending Articles

More Optics

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Putting The Porro Back in Quality Binoculars Optics

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Quality at the Right Price

Joe Arterburn - May 28, 2019

Steiner Predator AF Binoculars: Putting The Porro Back in Quality Binoculars

All three Nitro models have 10-power magnification and share multiple high-tech features, including EXO Barrier Protection, PC-3 Phase Coating, IPX7 waterproof construction and ED Prime Glass Lenses Optics

Tested: Bushnell Nitro Review

Joe Arterburn - November 06, 2018

Sponsored By
Bushnell
The variables that define laser rangefinders can boggle the mind. Here's how to pick the unit that's best for this bear season. Optics

Bear Hunting Essentials: The Rangefinder

Petersen's Hunting Editors - March 20, 2019

The variables that define laser rangefinders can boggle the mind. Here's how to pick the unit...

I'm not sure how it is where you hunt, but here in the South, mature bucks are highly-nocturnal. Optics

5 Things To Look For In A Great Hunting Binocular

Keith Wood - September 18, 2017

I'm not sure how it is where you hunt, but here in the South, mature bucks are...

See More Optics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.